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The consequences of hiding assets during a divorce

Few things in life are more difficult than going through a divorce. Fortunately, if you and your spouse have considerable assets, you may not have to worry about your financial future. 

In Colorado, family law judges divide marital property based upon what is equitable. Of course, you can mediate or otherwise negotiate with your partner to receive more or less than that. Still, you can only receive your fair share if you know marital property exists. 

How spouses may hide assets 

As you may imagine, unscrupulous spouses may attempt to hide assets in the leadup to a divorce in a variety of ways. For example, your partner may transfer marital funds to his or her business. Alternatively, your husband or wife may make a sizeable loan or gift to a friend or family member. Or, he or she may literally bury money in some location until the divorce is over. Regardless of how your spouse chooses to hide assets, doing so may cause you to receive an unfair share of marital wealth. 

Finding hidden assets 

If you suspect your spouse of hiding marital wealth from you, you likely have to launch an investigation to uncover the deceit. Forensic accountants may be useful, as they typically know where to look to find the missing money. You may also choose to hire an investigator to take an in-depth look at your soon-to-be ex-spouse‚Äôs behavior. 

Civil penalties for hiding assets 

Hiding assets can cause one partner to lose a considerable amount of marital property. As such, judges do not typically look favorably upon deceptive conduct. If your spouse hides assets from you, he or she may have to pay the costs you incur in finding missing wealth. Further, if your spouse hid assets when executing a pre- or postnuptial agreement, a judge may void the agreement altogether. 

While hiding assets may expose your future ex-spouse to consequences, he or she may decide to roll the dice. If you suspect your partner is not being honest about marital property, you must work diligently to ensure you receive what is rightfully yours.

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